requiem for certainty

Archive for May 2011

Dewey’s Problems of Publics (1927)

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“There are too many publics and too much of public concern for our existing resources to cope with” (Dewey 1927, 126).

The starting point of Dewey’s argument in The Public and Its Problems is Walter Lippmann’s thesis, expounded in his 1922 Public Opinion and 1925 The Phantom Public, that the public is today, in Dewey’s phrase, “lost” and “bewildered” (116).  The public finds itself midst multiple gluts of misinformation.  It cannot cope.  Inquiry and deliberation are hardly capable of being intelligent.  This can be seen as a serious insult to democracy.

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Written by Colin Koopman

May 3, 2011 at 12:00 am